Catherine Ross, Plano Journalist
After two years of construction, the NTTA opened four new ramps this week connecting the Dallas North Tollway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway.
This week, the North Texas Tollway Authority opened several ramps connecting the Dallas North and Sam Rayburn Tollways.
The project means drivers will no longer driving underneath the highways on service roads as they have been for nearly two years.
“It was entertainment for us at first because we’d stare out the window and watch it progress,” said Larry Laabs, manager of Original Pancake House, which overlooks the construction.
However, the novelty quickly wore off.
“It’s been a real hassle. A real interruption,” said James I. Harlan, local attorney and Original Pancake House regular.
While drivers say the project to create ramps and connect the highways became a nuisance – as they never knew which lanes would be open – one leg of the construction reopened this week, earlier than expected.
“This is almost unheard of, to do this type of construction with what we call 'live activity' in the area,” said Michael Rey with the North Texas Tollway Authority.
According to Rey and the NTTA, 150,000 cars travel through the juncture every day.
That number is only projected to increase, considering the fast growth in Collin County and the new accessibility the ramps will provide.
People in Plano and Frisco say the area has been anything but convenient as of late.
“I have people that I meet with, clients that come here, and they’ll be held up at one corner for 15, 20 minutes,” said Harlan.
The four ramps that reopened this week will be joined by four others, scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Both the NTTA and local businesses hope to see better traffic flow by the holiday shopping season.
“We get as many guests from Frisco and McKinney as we do from Plano,” said Laabs. “In a perfect world, you can get from McKinney to here in 10 minutes.”